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Tear-down Vanilla

Let's now walk through the process of tearing down a vanilla k3s cluster and individual host.

Tear It Down

If you would like, you now have the option to tear-down the entire vanilla k3s cluster by running:

apb K3s/teardown-vanilla.yml
  • This will not change any hosts, and still keep them in the live state, but it will tear down k3s. So if you run kubectl get nodes -o wide again, you will get an error.
  • If you do not plan on changing the host plan, you can use this to bounce k3s, it will also reboot the hosts.
  • If you plan on changing the host plan, you should also tear down the live hosts.

However, it has been a part of the plan from the outset to be able to trivially remove hosts willy-nilly.

You can now also run this command:

apb K3s/teardown-live.yml -e "killhosts=pi4,pi5"

This will safely remove a host by name (separated by commas if more than one). In this case, killhosts=pi4,pi5 are to be removed from the Kubernetes cluster and have k3s uninstalled from them, only. They will be returned to the live host state and are ready to be brought back into the cluster if need be.


As of the time of writing (Dec 2022) there appears to be a bug which may cause a master host to rejoin if you try to remove him. We'd just not intentionally remove individual master hosts for the time being... If you want to tear-down a master host, and you have 3 master hosts, you should tear-down the entire cluster, if you have more, like 5 or 7, you should only tear them down two at a time to maintain an odd quorum.

What is the Teardown Command Doing?

You should notice a new and strange command now entering the Ansible landscape:

- name: Drain Node before terminating
when: killhosts is defined
state: drain
name: "{{ item }}"
wait_timeout: 0
wait_sleep: 5
ignore_daemonsets: yes
disable_eviction: yes
terminate_grace_period: 5
force: yes
loop: "{{ killhosts.split(',') }}"
failed_when: false
- name: Delete Node
when: killhosts is defined
api_version: v1
name: "{{ item }}"
kind: Node
state: absent
loop: "{{ killhosts.split(',') }}"

In particular, this bit kubernetes.core.... This is Ansible calling its Kubernetes package. You'll see this pattern frequently going forward. Because Ansible and Kubernetes both use yml formatting to interpret what we want them to do, we can seamlessly move from an Ansible setting to a Kubernetes one. In the above block, the Drain Node before terminating task is a fairly well-defined k8s task for a host, so it comes with presets. Moving forward, you will also see a definition key after kubernetes.core which is actually a pure k8s resource definition, such that you wouldn't even need Ansible to add it to k8s (you could simply use kubectl apply -f resource.yml). At that point, we continue to use Ansible to make sure we are idempotent and thorough.

  • What is Drain Node... doing? If killhosts is set, Drain is moving all the resources and pods off the hosts and making sure they are working properly on other hosts. This makes sense, obviously, because we are removing the host from the cluster.
  • What is Delete Node doing? If killhosts is set, by setting the kind: Node resource to a absent state we are telling Kubernetes to no longer retain the resource with name {{ item from killhost list }} in the cluster. Bye bye host.

When you remove a host, k3s transfers resources to other nodes. As such, you should avoid removing hosts if you can not absorb the work load and storage requirements on remaining hosts. Further, this might take a long time with a heavy host load.


If you want to re-add these hosts, you will need to add them back into the cluster as they were previously defined, unless you also change the host-plan, which might mean also needing to tear down the entire cluster.

All vanilla+-k3s-live-hosts can not be changed at the vanilla host level without first bringing them down to the vanilla host state. To re-org the cluster, you must either tear everything down, and re-build all-at-once, or you must do it incrementally, host-by-host. It can not be done, declarative, "on-the-fly", but, perhaps one day.

Fool around with your node plan, and take a moment to appreciate your cluster. It's truly hard to overstate the level of complexity which is taking place as you watch your node build layers of abstraction that support further layers of abstraction. And not from our Ansible scripts, but from standing on the shoulders of giants that this is built on.

Advanced HAB node exercise

Given 3 master hosts and at least 4 workers, tear down two worker hosts, and stand them up as master hosts, then tear down two previous master hosts and stand them up as worker hosts, repeat this until you have fully cycled all master hosts.

Is your cluster still operational?

Comfortable? Let's prepare Kubernetes to be warm and welcoming for Bitcoin.